Since the golf season is coming to a close here on the east coast, I thought I would take some time to review my stats for 2011 and compare them to my performance in 2010. First, let’s revisit my 2011 goals.
If you remember, at the end of the 2010 season, I set a goal to improve my iron play as I felt that was the biggest flaw in my game. My scoring on par threes and par fours was much worse than my scoring on par fives. I use my range time to really focus on my irons, especially the mid to long irons. I feel as though I have improved in that area of my game. I also feel like the TaylorMade hybrids I added to my bag have really helped in my long game. I also set a goal to break 70 this season, as it had been a few years since that happened. [Read more →]
I hit the new TaylorMade R11 irons for the first time this week. I am a big fan of the R11 clubs, well the hybrids at least, so I was naturally interested in the new irons. I will admit that I tried out the R11 3 Wood for a few weeks and found that I hit my old Cleveland 3 wood much better and farther. As a matter of fact, I hit the R11 2 Hybrid father than I did their 3 wood. I know a few people who hit the R11 3 Wood and none of them are that impressed with it. But since I like the hybrids, I had to try out the new irons.
The R11 irons had a good feel to them. The ball seems to jump off the face, as it does the hybrids. I only hit them into a simulator, so I was unable to see the actual ball flight. However, the simulated flight was high and long. I would recommend you give them a try. They are marketed as irons to help the low to mid handicap player. I can see that after hitting them. They are not so forgiving that you can’t work the ball at all, but do give you a very generous sweet spot. If you are looking to invest in a new set of irons, I don’t think I will need to tell you to try these. The TaylorMade marketing department will do that for me.
I personally switched to the TaylorMade RAC irons from ’05 this season and still maintain that those are the best irons that TaylorMade has ever built. I think everything after them is just a copy of those RAC irons. If you want to save yourself a lot of money, go onto eBay and search for RAC irons…I got mine for about $160.
Until next time…
Normally I don’t really think about the playoffs until December or January. If the term even comes into my mind at this time of year, I might be thinking baseball. But now we have the PGA playoffs and, quite frankly, I am not sure how I feel about them yet. I am completely into the four Majors every season, but I have somehow not really embraced the playoffs just yet. Maybe because they seem a bit anti-climatic. The playoffs really just happen in the background of the tournament. It is like fantasy football in that way – the outcome of the tournament (football game) is less important than the position the players end up at in the standings (stats).
OK, I will admit that I enjoyed watching Jim Furyk win the playoffs last season – mainly because he is just a good guy. And there is some suspense in who will win this year. But isn’t that the same suspense that we get every week now in golf. There is no dominate player these days so every week there seems to be someone else beating the field. I think that is the way golf should be. It is the only sport where performance is not limited by age and sex. The only sport where a college kid can be beaten by a senior citizen. We shouldn’t be surprised that no one really dominates the sport like Tiger did…or Jack did in his day. They were the anomaly in the sport and we should not expect that to happen every year.
So this week the playoffs continue at Cog Hill in Illinois. The top 70 players are battling to make it into the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Only the top 30 finishers in the playoffs get to play in the Tour Championship so this week we will be having a tournament within the tournament. It is not only about winning at Cog Hill, but about moving into the top 30 so you have a chance to win the playoffs the next week in Atlanta. Wait…I guess this is sort of exciting. Maybe we should be talking about Playoffs!
Definition of fundamental: a principle, law, etc, that serves as the basis of a system.
I have always thought that the grip and set up were fundamentals of a good golf swing. But how can they be fundamental if everyone does them differently? Players use strong grips, weak grips and everything in between. Players set up open, closed and square. Other things that people have told me are fundamental to a good golf swing, tempo, alignment and posture. If you can vary all of these things so drastically and still be one of the best players in the world, how can it really be a fundamental to the success of a good golf swing? [Read more →]
In My Hand I Hold A Ball, White And Dimpled, And Rather Small.
Oh How Bland It Does Appear, This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.By Its Size I Could Not Guess, Of The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.
But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell, I’ve Wandered Through The Fires Of Hell.
My Life Has Not Been Quite The Same,
Since I Chose To Play This Stupid Game.
It Rules My Mind For Hours On End, A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.
It Has Made Me Curse And Made Me Cry,
And Hate Myself And Want To Die.
It Promises Me A Thing Called Par, If I Hit It Straight And Far.
To Master Such A Tiny Ball, Should Not Be Very Hard At All.
But My Desires The Ball Refuses, And Does Exactly As It Chooses.
It Hooks And Slices, Dribbles And Dies,
And Disappears Before My Eyes.
Often It Will Have A Whim, To Hit A Tree Or Take A Swim.
With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land,
It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.
Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul,
If Only It Would Find The Hole.
It’s Made Me Whimper Like A Pup,
And Swear That I Will Give It Up.
And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow,
But The Ball Knows … I’ll Be Back Tomorrow.
Well 2010 is over and I spent a few minutes today reflecting on the past year. More to the point, I have been thinking about my golf game in 2010. This is the first year that I truly kept stats on most (over 90%) of my rounds in order to really help diagnose my game. First let’s look at the numbers and then try and decipher their meanings. [Read more →]
In the last five years, I have recommended one golf book over any other – “Putting Out of Your Mind” by Dr. Bob Rotella. It truly changed the way I think about putting and my putting ability. After spending years thinking I was a bad putter, I now approach every putt positively and I consider myself to be a great putter. That book made me change the way I mentally approached putting which ultimately made me change the way I thought about my putting ability.
Well, I have a new favorite golf book. I recently read “The Golfer’s Mind” by Dr. Rotella and it has changed the way I approach every shot. I can’t recommend it highly enough to all serious golfers, no matter your skill level. This is not a new book, as I think it was published in 2004, and it is available in most book stores or online here.
The nice thing is, unlike making a physical change to your golf swing, making a mental change can lead to immediate results. You don’t need to spend hours beating balls at the range, just spend a few hours reading and you can see great changes in your game. I personally saw the immediate effect this book can have this weekend. I gave the book to one of my golf buddies to read as I thought he would truly benefit from its principles. He was already a good player, carrying a 7 handicap, but he tended to get in his own way on the course, especially if things started to go bad. I hoped that the book would help him to stay in the moment and capitalize fully on his talent. He read it last week while on a business trip. We played on Saturday and he accomplished two milestones during the round. First, he shot under par for nine holes for the first time in his career, and, more importantly, he was able to finish the day even par, another first in his career. He credits the book for helping him focus on every shot and maintain a calm during adversity.
According to Dr. Rotella, he wrote this book because many of his students expressed a desire to have a handbook to refer to once they had stopped working with him directly. For that reason he put together a very easy guide to the ten principles he teaches for his former students, and for those of us who can’t afford to hire him for private counseling, to refer back to as a refresher. An excerpt from the book after the jump: [Read more →]
I have been testing the new Backstryke Marxman putter for a few weeks. I think the first comment from most people is that the the putter looks a little odd. It is a little strange to see the shaft connected to the back of the putter and not the face. This was a little easier for me to get over as I use a Scotty Cameron Futura putter and let’s face it, compared to it, no putter looks that strange. Unlike my irons, I generally don’t care how my putter looks. I judge putters more on set up, feel, roll of the ball and the most important thing, whether I can make putts with it.
When I tried the Backstryke in Golf Galaxy, the first thing I noticed was how easy it was to set the face square to the target line. I really like being able to see the entire face as I set up to the ball. I also noticed that the putter forces your hands to be pressed forward at address. For golfers that tend to keep their hands even or behind the ball at address, the Backstryke may be a bad option. However, having a hands forward set up will definitely promote a tighter, more consistent roll. Like my Scotty, this putter definitely sets up square and is very easy to align to the target. Overall the Backstryke passes the set up test. [Read more →]